As an entrepreneur you will spend countless hours in your workspace. Whether this means a large loft in a bustling downtown or a small room in the corner of your suburban home, this space could be impactful to your success. Your office should complement you and be a productive workspace.
A major inspiration for me over the years was Catherine Kwong‘s design for the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. She created a contemporary, clean and uncluttered office decor for a chic fashion blogger, paying close attention and delivering the important elements this client would require.
In an interview she described her design inspiration for the workspace, “I set out to create a dream office–complete with pinup boards for tear sheets and look books and, of course, a custom closet to display a truly inspirational wardrobe.”
Creating your productive workspace
When creating a productive workspace there are seven areas to focus on in your design scheme–personality, comfort, organization, lighting, color, time out zone and still life.
Include design elements that speak to who you are as an individual. This could be photography or paintings if you are a lover of art, or shelves lined with books if you are an avid reader. Creating a space filled with things that make you happy, will keep you content in your workspace and inspired to make great things happen.
Surround yourself what makes you comfortable. Whether you work better on an oversize couch or sitting atop of a ball, comfort is queen! Personally I swear by my high-back tufted chair. The seat is soft and the back cushioned. But some may prefer a more firm chair. It’s also important to feel good in your environment. Is it too hot or too cold. Is there too much noise? Are there constant disruptors. These are important things to take into consideration.
Provide adequate storage to keep everything you need close at hand and easily accessible. I’ve found that floating book shelves help organize my research materials and a tall corner cabinet is great for storing everyday office essentials. This is especially relevant if you are working in a smaller space. Make every nook and cranny useful without creating clutter. A great space to make use of is beneath the desk to one side. A great place to store rolling files.
Use lighting to your preferred taste. I function best in a low-light environment. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t work in the dark, but I also do not want light so bright that it’s blinding or distracting. However, I have colleagues who can’t function in dim lighting (swearing it puts them to sleep) and prefer to have the shades drawn and florescent lights in every corner. Whatever lighting you choose, make sure it works best for your sensibility.
Choose colors that inspire you. If you’ve never looked at color quite that way, I recommend getting a color wheel or checking out a website that explains the meaning of colors for inspiration. It’s actually quite telling the mood and motivation that a color can spark. Did you know that the color yellow brings joy or that green can promote healing? Studying the meaning in colors is also a great source for developing your brand colors.
Time Out Zone
Create a space where you can take a much-needed break. An entrepreneur’s day can get hectic and chaotic. When that moment has you and you feel overwhelmed, a specially designated area for downtime can save the day. It can be a simple as a bean bag next to a mini waterfall or next to a pin board you’ve covered in postcards from your travels. Whatever calms you and brings serenity to your life, give it a coveted spot in your workspace.
Bring life into your workspace. But to stay focused and undistracted, opt for still life (unless of course you are a work-at-home mom). Plants are a great way to bring life to a space. They can add great color, freshen the air and bring a bit of outdoors into your office. It may not be a walk in the park or a garden, but it’s a good alternative when you can’t get away.
Feel free to share your productive workspace tips, I’d love to hear about them.